All Drama, All the Time With Packers, Favre

Aaron Rodgers must be wondering: What changed?

Last week, as reporters surrounded his locker at Lambeau Field following his first training camp practice as the starting quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, Rodgers said he'd been told by team officials just after Brett Favre retired in March that he'd be the club's starter this season.

All last week, General Manager Ted Thompson and Coach Mike McCarthy said they were committed to Rodgers as the team's starter this season no matter what happened with Favre's pending comeback.

But Sunday, with Favre headed to Green Bay and set to be reinstated to the Packers today, a source said the club had pledged to allow Favre to compete with Rodgers for his old starting job.

If so, Rodgers would have a right to be upset.

Favre arrived in Green Bay on Sunday night. He probably will undergo a physical and a conditioning test and be ready to practice with the Packers on Tuesday.

McCarthy is scheduled to participate in a news conference tonight to discuss his plan for handling the quarterback situation.

Following the Packers' scrimmage Sunday night, McCarthy wasn't ready to divulge his plan. He told reporters he wanted to speak to Favre first and if the team was about to play a game, Rodgers would be the starter.

"There have been no promises," McCarthy said, according to the Associated Press. "Once again, there has been indecision throughout Brett's path back here to Green Bay. It's important for us to sit down and communicate."

Rodgers, for his part, seemed to take things in stride.

"I'm a competitor," he said after the scrimmage, according to the AP. "I'm going to compete. This isn't going to be easy. It's going to be a dogfight. And I know if they do open it up to competition, not a lot of people give me a chance. But I believe in myself and I'm going to be the best I can be and let coach decide from there."

The guess here is that the Packers said what they felt they had to say to try to keep Favre in retirement and away from training camp, their clear preference. But once Favre made it evident that he was on his way to Green Bay and couldn't be stopped, and the Packers weren't receiving any trade offers they deemed suitable, they felt they had no choice but to have an open competition for the starting job. Otherwise, McCarthy might face a locker room uprising if players thought the better quarterback was being kept on the bench.

But it also says here that the Packers have wronged Rodgers unless they told him privately all along there would be an open competition if Favre returned. No NFL player should think he's above competition for his job. It's the way of the league. But every player also has a right to expect to be told, honestly, where he stands, and if Rodgers was misled, he has a legitimate gripe.

By Mark Maske |  August 4, 2008; 6:14 AM ET  | Category:  Packers
Previous: Favre Reinstated, Headed to Green Bay With Plans to Resume Playing Career (Updated 6:30 p.m.) | Next: G. Dorsey to Miss About A Week

Comments

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Actually, my thought when I heard this where's the Players' Union gripe about this for Aaron Rodgers? What had he been promised and now has to give up?

The front-office moved forward to be Favre-less. Aaron Rodgers was finally going to be able to start (and perhaps become more durable by playing more often). Now, right as pre-season starts, he has to compete for the job that was already his?

I don't generally like to ill-wish people, but I really hope Rodgers kicks Favre's butt. Because out here in the real world, people who decide to leave their jobs of their own free will don't get to come back to their job six months later and push their perfectly competent replacement out, or even get offered what amounts to a $20+ million severance package.

Poor, poor, poor Brett Favre. *snort* I don't care how good he was, is, or will be, he's not acting like an adult. He is not living with the consequences of his own actions, like most everyone else has to do.

Posted by: Chasmosaur | August 4, 2008 9:52 AM

Chasmosaur- fair points, but how often do superstar athletes act like adults these days?

And honestly, Favre asked for his release and the Packers denied him. Why? Because they were afraid that he would immediately sign with Minnesota or Chicago. OK, fine they don't want him to go to a division rival, but that shouldn't be their choice!! If they don't for whatever bizarre reason want Favre on the team, so be it, but at least have the courtesy to release him and let him play where he wants. When the Packers failed to do that, and then offered him $20m in RANSOM money to stay retired (which, to his credit, Favre turned down...) they came across looking pathetic, and even cowardly.

I agree that Favre certainly shares some blame here, but he isnt "stealing" anything from Rodgers. He asked for his release. The Pack was too cowardly to give it to him. The Packers organization bears the primary blame for this mess.

Finally, in terms of football decisions alone, Favre gives the Pack the best chance to win this season. Period. If the Pack wants to move on with Rodgers, that is their right, but they should at least be honest enough to admit to their fans (I am a lifelong GB fan...) that they are going into a rebuilding phase at the QB position and to lower expectations.

All around, this was horribly handled, but I do think that the Packers organization is more at fault than Favre. It's embarrassing that they didnt have the courtesy to release their all time best player to play with a team of his choosing if they didnt want him themselves. After 16 years, they owed him that much. Worse than embarrassing, it was cowardly.

Posted by: packers fan | August 4, 2008 12:42 PM


First of all, it is good to see that the Packers came to their senses. Yes Brett Farve is a diva with his retire or non-retire drama. But he is their franchise QB. He did take them to the NFC Championship game. He did have a MVP worthy year last year, not some washed up year. He is clearly the better option for this season.

Aaron Rodgers probably loses out. But to be honest, he is an unknown quantity. The packers took a QB in the 2nd round & 7th round. That says a lot about what they thought of Aaron Rodgers. If they didn't have any doubts about him, they don't take another QB in the 2nd. You think McNabb wasn't irked when Philly took a QB in the 2nd round last year. If Green Bay has any class, they should probably look to trade Aaron Rodgers to another team where he would have a shot to play. They already drafted Brohm, so they have a young QB to groom.

The NFL is about performance. This isn't a charity where people have to wait their turn. After all, wasn't Gregg Williams "supposed" to take over as Head Coach once Gibbs left. Things aren't set in stone and often "long term" plans end up changing yearly.

Posted by: Al | August 4, 2008 12:48 PM

Aaron Rogers will leave the Packers after his contract is up. The Bears should be about ready to give up on Grossman by then, and the Pack will get to face Rogers in his prime instead of Favre, who is on the downhill side of his career.

Just wait, it will happen. And how will the Cheeseheads think of Favre then?

Posted by: GoBears | August 4, 2008 2:29 PM

I'm going to let you guys in on a little secret... Favre wasn't that good last year.... his numbers were great but he beat up on bad teams. Im sure the Packers see that he is more like Brett Favre 2006 then Favre 2007 and know that to really compete, they need a quarterback and not a "gunslinger" that does things his own way.

Another thought I want people to consider... replace Brett Favre's name with Terrell Owens and this turns into the selfish player vs the team that just needs to move on and get better without him... It's a shame that Favre gets all the free reign to hold a team hostage and gets a pass because ESPN loves him.

Posted by: beefstu | August 4, 2008 3:15 PM

Brett Favre is the Hillary Clinton of the NFL.

Me! Me! Me! I want this, I want that, I want to play, even though my team doesn't want me back! I am relevant! Just ask me!

It's really sad he can only think of himself and not what he's doing to his team.

But, again, he is a cheesehead. What did I expect?

GO BEARS!!!

Posted by: Susan | August 4, 2008 3:26 PM

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